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Umbrella Stroller

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I bought an umbrella stroller today… it ended up being a different one than I originally thought we would end up with.

At some point during my pregnancy, we had decided the Uppababy G-Luxe umbrella stroller would be ours some day. When we looked around before, none of the local stores had any in stock… we only saw pictures and read descriptions. So we waited — I didn’t want to buy something unless I got to play with it first. We called around this weekend and a store in Boulder had one. We decided to go check it out… I thought we were going to come home with one, but we didn’t.

The G-Luxe claims to be the lightest umbrella stroller on the market that has a reclining seat. With a statement like that, I figured that’s what we needed – it was the lightest with a recline feature. That statement made a lot of sense to me and until this weekend, I was sold! When we saw it in the store, it was cute – Ellie looked cute in it. It looked very comfortable. Though, when it’s folded up – it is not small. It IS smaller than the BOB, but it didn’t scream “umbrella stroller” to me. An umbrella stroller should be very light weight and very small when collapsed. That’s about it. The G-Luxe was not , but I wanted it – it’s nice quality, it looked cool, it rolled nice and Ellie could recline in it. As I pondered the purchase, I had to reconsider WHY I wanted an umbrella stroller – in addition the the snap-n-go and BOB strollers we already have.

The Snap-n-go has been GREAT! It’s perfect when we want to go into a store and there aren’t carts for the car carrier or we don’t want to pull Ellie out of the car carrier and carry her. When she was an infant, the mobility from car to cart in the cold was so easy with the snap-n-go. Now that she’s pushing 14-pounds, I can no longer pick up the car carrier with easy – it’s just too heavy. If it’s a store with nice-sized carts, I will park the car next to a cart-return with a cart already there like it was waiting for me. This way, I don’t have to carry the car carrier very far. This isn’t always an option – Kohl’s is a fine example of this. I take the snap-n-go when I go to Kohl’s, which is fine. I’m not knocking the snap-n-go…. but Ellie is getting older and I feel like she should experience the shopping world sitting up… not laying back in her car carrier.

Why not take the BOB for these shopping trips? It’s too big and heavy. I have no idea how much it weighs, but to pull it out of my trunk and set it up easy, but not as easy as I would like. It’s just not a “shopping” kind of stroller. I love the BOB… it’s perfect for walks. It’s a smooth ride and turns on a dime! Ellie is very comfortable in it. We walked to the grocery store today to pick up a prescription – the weather was perfect and Ellie enjoyed the trip.

I talk about shopping as if I’m a big shopper…. I’ve actually gone shopping with just Ellie probably twice a month since she was born. We just don’t go out and do a lot during the day… I still try to nap at least once and get stuff done around the house and work for my obligatory “work from home one hour on Monday and Wednesday”. I don’t even like to go grocery shopping with her – I can’t buy many groceries when her car carrier takes up most of the cart space! Oh, I bet in about a month Ellie will be sitting up and she can actually ride in the child seat portion of a shopping car with her floppy seat cover. I can’t wait for that! Grocery shopping should be much easier then!

Zach, Ellie and I do a lot of running around on the weekends together. I save most of any kind of shopping/errands for when Zach is around — it’s just easier to get around with an extra set of hands.

Eventually, when we do other outings – say the Zoo, the BOB be perfect! In those instances, if we’re out for too long of a time, we can recline the BOB and she’ll take a nap. I don’t see us taking her anywhere for an extended amount of time in an umbrella stroller, because even the G-Luxe wouldn’t be that comfortable for an extended period of time. So what’s the need for a recline feature in the umbrella stroller? I don’t see a reason for it – hence no need to try to find the “lightest umbrella stroller with a recline feature”. The G-Luxe’s biggest selling point doesn’t matter to me.

In summary, the snap-n-go is on it’s way out because I want Ellie upright and the more I can leave the car carrier in the car, the better. The BOB is not much of an option unless we’re outside going for a nice walk or a long outing. That only leaves a few other instances where a different, lightweight stroller would be nice to have.

After weighing all the reasons to have an umbrella stroller, I decided that spending extra money on the G-Luxe was silly. We wouldn’t get our money’s worth out of it. So I settled on a cute pink $30 umbrella stroller at Babies’R’Us. They had some that were in the $15-20 price range, but this one was just cuter – so I “splurged”. I still saved us quite a bit of money by getting this one and not the G-Luxe!

It’s perfect! It’s very light-weight, it folds up easily and doesn’t take up a lot of room. Ellie also looked very cute it in – although she can make anything look cute! I’m not sure how much use we’ll get out of it, but I’m really glad we have it now and I can stop pondering spending the money on the G-Luxe!

We brought it home and I sat Ellie in it while I cooked dinner. It was a nice change to having her in the bouncy seat or the Bumbo on the kitchen floor. Isn’t she cute?

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There are a few more pictures in the April 2011 album.